Speed up Windows defrag operations

A simple way to speed up a defrag operation in Windows XP is to restart the system before you launch Defrag. This allows the operating system to clear out the swap/paging file and reset it to the default size. This lets Defrag focus strictly on the necessary data on the hard disk, without having to stop and manage a huge swap file loaded with unneeded data.

Another approach to speeding up a defrag operation in Windows XP is to configure them to occur immediately upon startup. Fortunately, you can do so easily with a simple registry edit. Follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce.
  3. Right-click the RunOncesubkey and select New | String Value.
  4. Name the value Defrag and press [Enter] twice.
  5. Type Defrag.exe c: /f in the Value Data text box, and click OK.
  6. Close the Registry Editor and restart Windows.

The defrag operation will begin when you type in your password and press [Enter]. (Keep in mind that values added to the RunOnce key are removed immediately after the command has been run.)

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Professional editions.

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